29 October 2012

Guest Post: Pros & Cons of Home School vs. Public School

Study of Study
There are certain social aspects of schooling that are necessary for a child's growth and development. The way children learn through school and build relationships can carry with them throughout life, whether that means they are outgoing or more reserved and shy. Before making a decision on whether you'd prefer to home school your child or send them to a public school, it's important to know the facts and understand the pros and cons of both.

Homeschooling pros

There are many benefits to homeschooling, with educational freedom being one of the most important ones. Homeschooling gives children the opportunity to learn responsibility and understand prioritization at a very young age. The physical freedom is also rewarding. Since the child doesn't have to worry about getting to and from school everyday, it frees up that time that's usually spent on transportation.
In terms of socialization, children who are home schooled can escape the effects of peer pressure, competition and most importantly, bullies. Having the opportunity to develop a sense of self without pressure from other kids is another big pro of home schooling.
Additionally, home schooling allows for flexibility, whether it be due to challenging situations at home, illness or any other type of emergency. Because the home schooling schedule is based on the time and schedule of the parent conducting the schooling, it's easy to adjust and change accordingly.

Home school cons

One of the biggest cons of home school is in regards to socialization. While children are protected from peer pressure and bullying at home, they're also isolated from other children their own age. Not having the opportunity to make friends like other children, it can have negative impacts on the personality of a child who is home schooled.
For parents, the cons of homeschooling their child could outweigh the pros, depending on the parent. When you choose to home school your child, you have to commit to being a full-time caregiver and teacher. This could result in some type of financial restraint on the family. You also have to be prepared for very little separation from your children since they'll be home with you all day and night if they're being home schooled.

Public school pros

When attending public school, your transportation is provided so parents don't need to concern themselves with car pooling or dropping/picking up their children. Public schools offer multiple after school programs, including clubs or sports for children to be interactive and socialize.
One huge positive of attending a public school is that children have the opportunity to meet all types of other children. This can help open your child's eyes to all different kids from different backgrounds and viewpoints.
Going to public school also allows children to have a variety of teachers, all specializing in different subjects. Because their knowledge is specific to a certain subject, they can teach your kids more than just textbook material.

Public school cons

Public school cons are focused mainly around what kids can pick up socially from being at a public school. Since they're surrounded by all different kids with all different backgrounds, chances are they will pick up bad habits. Peer pressure and bullying are enormous cons of public schooling, especially because it's inevitable that your child will face these issues.
In terms of learning, children do have more specialized teachers, but since there are so many children, they receive less attention. Teaching at public schools is done at a medium pace, therefore if your child is excelling quickly, there's a good chance they'll get bored easily.
Before you make your final decision on whether home schooling or public school is right for your child, make sure you weigh which pros and cons are most important to you and your child's development. Whichever decision you choose, make sure everyone's on board and understands why the decision was made.
Alaina Mason is a freelance writer and social worker who works with children from both public schooling and home schooling. By researching programs like the case western university social work degree program, she's hoping to gain more knowledge and learn more about the developmental issues children from each educational background are struggling with today.

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